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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Lubrication performance of biolubricants Entezami Lahijani, Sohrab


Lubrication has been used to reduce the friction and wear of the mechanical components. Friction and wear are the reason behind most of the energy and material wastage in the industry. Petroleum-based oil is primarily used as the base lubricant, which is inherently toxic and has detrimental effects on the environment. Water is also used as the base lubricant for some applications, however, water itself is a poor lubricant. Biolubricants are used as the alternative to regular lubricants and are biodegradable, environmentally friendly, and come from a variety of resources. In this research, we have studied two aqueous biolubricants. In the first study, Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) were used as additives to water, due to their superior properties such as renewability, biodegradability, and mechanical strength. The lubrication performance has been investigated using tribology. Tribological tests have been performed on a pin-on-disk tribometer in order to investigate the lubrication performance of this novel lubricant and more specific to evaluate its stability. The tribological properties of the CNC Suspensions in two regimes, semi-dilute and gel (grease), have been studied. Wear, stick-slip, and visualizations results showed that the CNC suspensions in the semi-dilute regime show better tribological properties than the suspensions in the gel regime. In the second study, the lubrication performance of an aqueous fucoidan solution as a biolubricant has been characterized. Fucoidan is used in various biomedical applications and is derived from brown algae (seaweed). This biocompatible lubricant provided by ARC Medical Devices Inc was studied as part of the product development stage so that it can be applied optimally during clinical operations while retaining its lubrication characteristics. Soft tribological tests were performed for the fucoidan solution as the novel lubricant and the Lactated Ringer’s solution as the control sample. Tribological tests were also performed on pig skin. In both experiments, the efficacy and improvement in tribological properties have been shown for fucoidan solutions compared to the control sample.

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